Scouting Your Teamfight Tactics Lobby – What To Look For
Scouting is an often underrated aspect of Teamfight Tactics, and one that is hard to master at that. If you’ve ever watched professional Starcraft, or played Starcraft yourself, you know just how valuable information is. In Teamfight Tactics the limited amount of time between rounds makes it tough to properly scout your entire lobby consistently, especially for newer players who are focusing their attention on what to buy, item combinations, synergies, positioning, re-rolls, leveling, or any of the other aspects of Teamfight Tactics that require your attention. However, scouting is something that sets the great players apart from the average players. Proper scouting is a surefire way to increase your consistency in game and more effectively climb in rank.
The information that you gain with proper scouting can lead to an easier pivot from your early game comp into your late game comp, more reliable and consistent comp building abilities, and just flat out the ability to win you rounds or entire games when you otherwise shouldn’t. It’s easy to look at what other players are doing in your lobby, but understanding how to leverage that information can be a daunting task at first. So, let’s jump into what you should be on the lookout for while scouting in Teamfight Tactics.
Make Scouting An Every Round Habit
The first thing you want to do is to commit to scouting. Make it an every round habit and part of your in game process to scout the lobby. In the very early stages of the game, you won’t be able to spend as much time scouting each opponent individually as you can later on in a top 3 scenario for example. Early on you just want to look for the basics, is the lobby leaning more towards leveling or building their economy? Who has 2-star units? Are people holding item components or full building items? Gathering this information early will help you in your decision making to appropriately respond to the lobby and keep you healthy through the early-game, in turn setting you up to transition safely into the midgame and eventual pivot to a late-game comp.
Scout What Comps Other Players Are Building
As you get into the midgame, it becomes more important to begin scouting the comps that other players are focusing on building. You have components for a Rapidfire Cannon and Bloodthirster and are considering a Draven comp? What if 6 other players in the lobby already have their own Draven? You’re pretty unlikely to roll into an early Draven, let alone a 2-star Draven at that point, so it may be better to pivot a different direction and focus your comp elsewhere.
Trying to find the pieces of your comp is one of the things that many lesser skilled players will call complete RNG. “I was trying to force void/sorc/brawlers and I just couldn’t get a Cho’gath!” – if you’ve said that and didn’t take the time to scout your lobby to see how many other players already had Cho’gath, you may have cost yourself a game that could be won with a pivot in a different direction. While forcing comps can often work well, it’s important to be flexible enough on a game to game and round to round basis to react to what the lobby is doing as a whole.
By paying close attention to what champions other players are holding, you set yourself up for better options going into an uncontested comp that can perform well in the lobby. While others are fighting for scraps and trying to round out their comp with the necessary champions, you can easily find 2-star and 3-star champions of your own.
Scout Overall Lobby Strength and Tendencies
You also want to be scouting overall lobby strength and tendencies in the midgame. Is everyone in the lobby leveling? You don’t want to get left behind and give up free losses that could be avoided with the right information. Scout the other players to see who is still on their early game comp, who is transitioning to their late-game comp, who is stuck in between. This information can give you the clearance you need to sit on your early game comp and continue to build your economy, or the information to pull the trigger and start transitioning now.
A group of random hodge-podge 2-star champions is great for the early game; but it’s not going to stand up to 3 void / 3 sorc / 2 brawler mid game comps or 4 knight / 2 imperial Draven comps. Reading the lobby and reacting to power spikes and levels in the appropriate amount of time will keep your winstreaks alive and your HP loss at a minimum.
Check For Blitzcranks and Assassins
So, you’ve made it into a top 4/3/2 situation. Now it’s time to really start scouting hard. The lower number of players in the late-game of the lobby means you can dedicate more time and attention to each individual player while scouting. Here’s where you should start looking for some specifics to help you win your rounds. The absolute number one thing to look for? Blitzcrank. Followed closely by assassins. Your 3 item Draven doesn’t do a damn thing for you if he gets hooked into the entire enemy team and deleted instantly. Or if 3 assassins jump on his face and melt him in half a second.
On the other hand, your opponents are going to be real sad if their Blitzcrank pulls in a beefy Garen who soaks damage for days while your Draven tears through their team with ease. Always be on the lookout for any sort of displacement units or assassins and position your carry appropriately so you don’t auto-lose the round.
Know How To Position Your Units
Similar to making sure your carry doesn’t get grabbed by a Blitzcrank, it’s important to know how to position your units in general. Scouting gives you the knowledge that you need to react appropriately to the lobby. Are the last 2 opponents both running a 2-star Cho’gath and a 2-star Aurelion Sol? Then don’t clump your units up and give them a free win from their AOE spells! Are the rangers all tucked in the top left corner? Don’t position on the right side and let them open fire on you for free while your units walk across the board. If you have a Kassadin, make sure to position it so it lines up with a high value mana using target to keep them from getting spells off.
There are far too many things to cover in regards to positioning to cover all in this post, as that deserves a guide all to its own, but scouting is the way to get the information you need to take complete advantage of your positioning on the board.
Consider Your Options To Remove Their Carry
Last but certainly not least, scouting can straight up win you rounds or games by removing the enemy carry from the fight. This is something you should be hyper aware of at all times if you have any sort of displacement such as Blitzcrank or Vi, or have a Zephyr built. Taking out an enemy carry from the fight without ever letting them get any damage off, or killing off their frontline before they can join the fight, is a surefire way to rack up wins. At the same time, you should be considering how to use your positioning to limit the CC your opponent has and the damage potential you are presenting to their carry. Position your AOE units and CC units in a way so that they are more likely to catch the enemy carry with their spells, locking them down or knocking them out of the fight.
Most players are lazy and run the same positioning in every round, reacting to their position and using it to your advantage can win you games you should otherwise lose, be the deciding factor in a close game, or just push your advantage to the max so you can steamroll the lobby without any close calls.